Indian Genius Teaches The World How To Construct Roads With Plastic
Harin - Feb 10, 2020
Plastic takes forever to degrade and disappear. Indian scientist Rajagopalan Vasudevan has figured out how to use recycled plastic waste to construct roads.
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It takes forever for plastic to degrade and disappear from the environment. Plastic waste has covered our waste dumping grounds, leaving no more space for accommodation.
We are all making efforts to find ways to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic use. Rajagopalan Vasudevan, an Indian scientist, has figured out how to use recycled plastic to makes better roads. And for Vasudevan’s research and contributions, in 2018, he was awarded Padma Shree.
Vasudevan completed his Master's degree at Madras University, majoring in Science. In 1974, he also got his Ph.D. degree from there. After that, he started working as a professor at Thiagarajai College of Engineering.
Living in a country where streets are full of potholes, Vasudevan thought that plastic would play an important role in getting rid of these potholes while recycling plastic rather than incinerating or dumping them.
So how did he manage to use plastic to construct roads? Vasudevan fused regular tar with plastic. He used 50 gms of bitumen for every kilo of stone. 1/10th of the bitumen is plastic waste.
The inclusion of plastic helps improve the quality of the roads, making it two times stronger than regular tar road. The roads are less susceptible to potholes and disintegration.
Today, his technique is being used by municipalities, panchayats, and even the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India). NHAI recently revealed that it wanted to use plastic waste for the construction of highways, especially National Highways.
In a statement, the ministry said:
India has already more than 100,000 kilometers of roads constructed using plastic. And not just India as this technique of Vasudevan is also being applied in many countries around the world.
Plastic roads are being built using a plastic-asphalt mix in many areas in Indonesia including Bali, Bekasi, Surabaya, Solo, Makassar, and many more.
The Netherlands is another country that is constructing plastic roads with this technique. The United Kingdom has also announced that an investment of £1.6 million to test plastic road technology in a partnership with asphalt enhancement company MacRebur. Vasudevan’s technology will be implemented while adding some other secret compounds to enhance the roads’ longevity.